The strange and possibly futile fight of the Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox may have lost last night, but their series against the Detroit Tigers was a win for them. They went back home to Fenway Park and won their second series in a row.
These Boston Red Sox have now won their last two series, going four wins and two losses in their last six games. This all comes one week after this team lost five of six games and many people in the Boston media had penciled them in as trade-deadline “sellers” and suggesting that they blow the team up.
Here we stand, once again, and the Boston Red Sox are “only” three and a half games back of one of the wild-card spots in the American League.
I put “only” in quotation marks in the same way that Dr. Evil might have called a moon laser a “death star”. The Boston Red Sox have been stuck in neutral for the past two months of the season and it seems like they are always “only” three and a half games or two games back of the wild-card spot. Every small win-streak has Red Sox nation cheering in anticipation of the big win streak that will catapult them in the standings, only to be cursing the same baseball team when they drop their next two series on the schedule.
On one hand, they fight and claw their way back into baseball games and have hung on to their spot in the standings, in striking distance of a playoff spot. Take last night’s game for example. Faced with a poor start from Aaron Cook, the Red Sox started putting runs up on the board in an attempt to steal a baseball game they had no business winning. Ultimately, they didn’t complete the come-back, but they still fought which, is encouraging. They also have a positive run differential (+35) and have been somewhat unlucky this year having an expected win-loss record three games better than their current 53 – 52 mark on the season.
Basically, this is one of the happy and encouraging weeks of the Red Sox season.
Next week? It probably will go back to another “The sky is falling, everyone hates Bobby Valentine and Jon Lester is fat” sort of weeks. Not because I want it to, but only because that’s been the cycle of the Red Sox season since May. They come in to this weekend’s series against the Minnesota Twins on a high of some sorts with the fans back behind the club (except Josh Beckett) and the thought that maybe they can come back and get into October.
If the season plays out as it has, they will split the series to a lesser opponent, than watch as one of the Big Dog’s of the American League, the Texas Rangers, come into Fenway Park and slaughter the Red Sox. After that, we will have another week of “What the eff is wrong with the Boston Red Sox?” Then we will be back to square one.
This all leads up to why their decision at the deadline to basically stand-pat was really strange. They had to break the cycle somehow and either start trading players to get younger and sacrifice the rest of the season or make a splash and get a starting pitcher that could make a difference in the run for the playoffs. Instead, they traded a prospect who has never amounted to anything and got back a middle reliever. Not really a cycle breaking splash from Ben Cherrington.
And so it goes with the Boston Red Sox. Up one week and down the next week. Lather, rinse, repeat. The Boston Red Sox will keep fighting. They have all season long. Despite all their fights, they will still probably be three and a half or two games out of a wild-card spot.
So goes the 2012 Boston Red Sox.